Siri in iOS 7 getting better at pronouncing names

By , Jun 24, 2013

iPhone 4S advert (Siri 001)

Not only is Siri getting a facelift and new features in iOS 7 as Apple continues to focus on improving her usability and the accuracy and reliability of the responses, she’s also getting smarter thanks to backend changes which don’t require a software update. For example, one of such server-side improvements is the ability to place phone calls to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline to help save lives.

But there’s one aspect of Siri that has seen little changes since her inception: inaccurate pronunciation of certain names. But no more. Although not specifically addressed during the WWDC 2013 keynote, it’s been discovered that Siri can now initiate a learning process of sorts whenever it has trouble understanding your pronunciation of a person’s name…

You can try this right now: just tell Siri a name she doesn’t know and she’ll apologize and ask for help. According to Scott Buscemi of 9to5Mac, Siri then offers two versions of what it thinks the name should be pronounced.

You can choose either of them as standard, which will force her to use that pronunciation going forward.

In addition, we have found that you can simply say, “That’s not how you pronounce [any name]” and Siri will go through the learning process.

Like before, you can also type in the phonetic spelling manually.

The feature appears to be iOS 7-specific.

iOS 7 (Siri, pronunciation of names, 9to5Mac 001)

I was able to replicate this feature, but Siri kept crashing my device and I couldn’t take my own screenshots (one of the wonders of beta software). This is no doubt a much-needed improvement, even more so given how Siri typically struggles with recognizing non-English contacts when asking her to call or text a person from your address book.

iOS 7 (Siri, Flashlight)

Siri in iOS 7 can turn on flashlight for you (also accessible from the Control Center), turn on Bluetooth, return calls, change the screen brightness, control iTunes Radio, play back your voicemail and more.

iOS 7 users can also change between a male and female voice and get inline results from more sources like Bing, Wikipedia and Twitter without sending you to a browser.

What’s your experience with Siri’s ability to recognize names?

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  • Ethan Humphrey

    Wow first comment, thats cool… but i have an ipod touch 4 so cant have siri or ios 7! Bummer

    • JomanJi

      well, I have an iPhone 4, so I can’t have siri as well :( but I have iOS 7 :D

      • Matheus Lisboa

        you can get ac!d siri, I use it a lot

      • Ethan Humphrey

        Yes but i tried one of those and when i said goodnight (or good morning i forgot) it said goodnight big d***

      • JomanJi

        lol dafuq?

      • Matheus Lisboa

        try using acid with wordjelly, they’re really pros, the only joke they do is about marilyn manson ahahah

      • JomanJi

        what’s that? Is it like siriport? because I used to use it until I decided to get iOS 7

      • Matheus Lisboa

        yes, it’s a siri port, it’s actually faster then siri on my iphone 5… I use the wordjelly server

      • Ethan Humphrey

        That’s what I used I think

      • Ethan Humphrey

        Welcome to the club, exept you get ios 7 so…

      • JomanJi

        but no siri, so I’m sad :(

  • JomanJi

    This is great, but they are 2 years late with this…

    • T.LIN

      Well at least they have it now. Users don’t actually care about anything good to happen, no matter how late.

    • Rowan09

      Why are they 2 years late with this? The iPhone 4S was the first iPhone to get Siri and it improved a lot since it was first released. It’s a step in the right direction so I’m just happy they have it like T.LIN stated.

      • JomanJi

        I mean, this should they have done from the beginning, I know, they are making slow process, but switching toggles by voice should have been there since the beginning of siri (2011)! And added it to iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPod Touch 3, iPod Touch 4, iPad & iPad 2, because there is no real reason to not being able to use it on those devices, expect making money -_-

      • Rowan09

        Maybe. My friend put Siri on his iPhone 4 jailbroken and it made his phone die quick and get really hot. Everything is done to make money but maybe the minimum requirements for Siri wasn’t on those older models.

      • Kurt

        Siri is known for running well on older devices. Stop being an iSheep. You always cover for them

      • Rowan09

        Sorry I own both a Note 2 and an iPhone 5. Siri runs on older devices like?

      • Kurt

        Wow, lucky you. I stand corrected…You have best of both worlds.

        iPhone 4, iPad 1, 2. Worked well on 3GS too. It doesn’t take much to run Siri. It’s just simply not allowed.

      • Rowan09

        The reason I asked is because Siri never came out for the iPhone 3GS or 4 so your statement amazes me.

  • Burge

    Can someone please tell me where you can change Siri from male to female, all I can find is the Siri language

    • Abbas

      settings>general>siri>language.

      Now choose english UK for a male Voice
      or Choose English United States for a Female Voice

      • Burge

        No that’s was there before iOS 7 ..that’s USA Siri and UK Siri so Siri understands the users voice

      • Abbas

        well you wanted to know how to change to a female voice is why i guided you on how to do it.if you want ios7 siri you have to wait till its released to the public because i tried ios7 beta 1 and its full of bugs plus battery drain. so gota wait.

      • Burge

        What you told me was there from ios5. In the keynote for WWDC it was said that you can now choose a male or female voice for Siri now which is not location based.
        As for waiting for os7 iam using it now..and yes it does chrash
        but the battery drian is no worse than os6

      • planetcoalition

        Not available in Beta 1.

      • Guest

        siri is ios 7 beta 1 is the same siri as in Ios6, i dont know in which beta apple with actually upgrade siri to the newest version they presented in the keynote

    • http://www.idownloadblog.com Sebastien

      Turn Siri Off and On in the settings. You’ll get the option to change from female to male but the changes don’t stick. I think it will be fixed in beta 2

      • Burge

        Thanks Seb..

  • Amad

    It just feels like siri should be able to do more this is not enough.

    • Rowan09

      Like since this is just some features?

  • Bra1nwash

    Is beta 2 supposed to come out today?

    • JomanJi

      is it?

      • Bra1nwash

        Well I’ve read in multiple websites that its predicted that today they’d release it but I really don’t know. I hope it does

      • Matthew

        Yes I heard from multiple sources it will.

      • JomanJi

        Oh really? Well, I’m an apple developer, and I just checked for it , and I didn’t see it….. maybe it will be released later during the day

      • Matthew

        Sorry forgot to say. If it is released today it will be released at 10:00am PST. I’m also a developer. Going to check then. Also it will most likely be an OTA update so no need to go to the dev center. Unless you are loading it on a new device.

      • JomanJi

        oh, ok :)

  • Ehab

    Dose any one know when will apple release an arabic siri ?
    I know that there is already a speak selection in arabic in ios 6 .
    But it will be awesome to have an arabic siri . :)

    • nedisonn

      same for portuguese so…

  • Ricky

    My siri on ios 7 have the same voice like on ios 6? Is it just me or?

    • mehrab

      Not just you. The answer is beta.

  • mehrab

    Seriously? Thats all? Idb come on siri on ios 7 now is faster better and understands better then ever where are those points?

  • Gorgonphone

    i am so glad that they improves siris linguistics

  • Malan Raja

    I’d like to see how it pronounces my Indian name, Somasundaram. lol

  • Frozen Bee .GFKS

    when will Beta 2 come out? i should be this week(according to previous beta releases) right?

    • mehrab

      Prolly today at 10:00 am pst so like 4 hours from now

      • Frozen Bee .GFKS

        thanks kind sir!!!

      • Tempest

        It’s 1am at mine :(. Gotta wake up and do it in the morning. :(

      • JomanJi

        Just 1 hour left :D:D, btw it launches at 7 pm (19:00) at my place

  • Ryan James Christensen

    I can’t turn on my flashlight with siri

  • Andrew Roth

    I don’t have the two new voices in iOS 7 Beta 1… anybody else?

  • https://twitter.com/Ikk200 Ikk200

    This feature will be a hit.